Our Mission: Growing with God among friends.
Our Vision: Everyone with a friend, everyone with a place.
Week of 2/6/23
Jesus was a storyteller. We can learn a lot about how to communicate well by studying the words of Jesus and trying to speak as he did. We’ve been telling stories at The Mission. In weeks past we’ve told the stories of The Squatters, Crazy Bread Guy, and Dodgeball Girl, tying each story to various scripture passages and themes. This week the story was about Kevin the Artist.
Kevin is a real person that I met several months ago. We’ve formed a close relationship as I’ve been blessed to help him navigate a tumultuous time in life. A cross-country move, a new job, trying to make friends. We’ve all experienced a version of this story - a new school, a new city, a new relationship, the loss of a friend, etc. Life flows in seasons. Some relatively carefree, others fraught with difficulty and pain.
I invited Kevin to come to The Mission and share a few short pieces of his testimony, mainly about how he had come to know that God was real, and that God cared about him. He described a situation in which he felt completely powerless and alone. Battered and bruised by a cruel world, he questioned whether life was worth living. In desperation he asked God for a sign, and God delivered the sign in the form of a guitar teacher.
While some scriptures invite us to test God (Malachi 3, Judges 6), there are others that caution us (Matthew 4, Deut 6, Exodus 17). Our God is a covenant God. He always does what he promises, and he invites us to test his promises as we follow his commands to love one another. Short story: our God is not a genie in a bottle, and shouldn’t be treated as such through the use of demands or ultimatums. We don’t make deals with God. God makes covenants with us.
The scripture for the week was 1 Kings 17:8-16, in which God sustains the prophet Elijah during a drought through the provision of a widow and her son. The starving pair, though they have only enough flour for one last meal, welcome Elijah to share what they have. As a result of their actions, the flour and oil used to bake the bread become a limitless and miraculous supply of sustenance for all three people in the story. The flour does not run out. The oil does not run out. The Lord sustains Elijah until the rains come. The widow and her son are saved in the process.
The point of the story: God sustains those that he calls. And God is calling you. God’s invitation to you is open, and he will never turn his attention away from you. You are never out of God’s reach. He will always pursue you. He will always find you. He will always sustain you, even when (especially when) you feel you’re at the end of your own strength. Within God there is limitless power, certainly enough to sustain a relationship with every person he calls. He calls us each by name, inviting us into a relationship with him.
God’s call to us often comes in moments when we feel powerless. When we realize our powerlessness, that’s often when we’re most able to hear God’s voice, and feel his presence. And that’s often when we’re finally ready to listen.
Kevin’s story took an unexpected turn as the topic of suicide came into the conversation. While we segued fairly rapidly into the next part of the discussion, I recognize this is a heavy topic and even a brief mention may weigh heavily on some that were in the room last night, especially in light of recent events in our community. I apologize for this unexpected turn, and for any resulting harm that may have occurred. I’ll be increasing the level of preparation around testimonies or guest speakers to reduce the risk of this happening again.
It was not our intention to facilitate a conversation around suicide on Sunday night. If that had been our intention we would have notified parents in advance as we would when we’re planning to discuss any “hot topic” like identity, sexuality, addiction, etc. We know that difficult topics will sometimes arise in the course of discussion and our intention is always to handle those conversations with the utmost of care, including follow up conversations if necessary.
If you or anyone you know felt unsettled by the conversation Sunday night, please reach out. My email is email@example.com, and my cell phone is 269-303-5229. If you would prefer to speak with someone other than me, Dave Scholz is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our goal at the Mission is always to partner with parents and guardians in helping to raise up the next generation of Christians from within the context of a strong faith community. Our Mission Leaders are here for you, to be that community. Please do not hesitate to reach out at any time to discuss anything related to The Mission, our programs, or the well-being of your student.
Let's have a party! Bring your favorite Superbowl food if you'd like. We'll have queso and wings, plus whatever you bring! Invite your family and friends - we'll have the game going in two locations, and the gym will be available for play. You can leave at halftime or stay for the entire game. See you there!!
Click the link at the top right of this page to get registered. Early-bird pricing has expired but a $50 deposit is all that is required to sign-up. Total cost is now $225. Keep an eye out for upcoming fundraising opportunities to help offset the cost!
On the Menu: Superbowl Food
Please consider adding an item below to your grocery list for Mission meals. Thank You!!
- Juice Boxes
- 2L of pop or lemonade (we use 3 per week)
- Nabisco cookie variety packs (the ones with Oreos are the favorites)
- 8oz water bottles